Whoopi Goldberg eyes Canada as she looks to expand menstrual marijuana business
Whoopi Goldberg attends Variety's Power of Women Luncheon at Cipriani Midtown, in New York, April 24, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File
Alexandra Posadzki, The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, August 23, 2016 12:11PM EDT
TORONTO -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's promise to legalize marijuana has grabbed the attention of many pot entrepreneurs -- including Whoopi Goldberg, who's eyeing Canada as a potential market for her line of cannabis-infused menstrual pain products.
Goldberg's product line, which includes a THC tincture, a topical body rub, medicated bath salts and cannabis-infused cacao, is available only to medical marijuana patients in California.
But the American comedian and talk-show host said she'd like to change that.
"It's going to take a minute," Goldberg said Monday in an interview, noting that making the products available north of the border will require overcoming a number of regulatory hurdles.
"You have to go through lots of different conversations."
Goldberg founded Whoopi & Maya alongside Maya Elisabeth, a California-based creator of medical cannabis products and the founder of Om Edibles.
In addition to cannabis, many of the products contain herbs and other natural ingredients -- such as elderberries, cramp bark and ginger -- that promise to alleviate some of the pain and discomfort that women experience during menstruation.
Goldberg said she was propelled into action when she heard that other celebrities, including Snoop Dogg and Willie Nelson, were entering the cannabis business.
"I said, 'Is there anybody doing anything for menstrual cramps?"' she recalled.
"And everyone laughed and said, 'No, it's a niche market, no one is going to do that.' And I said, 'But the niche market covers half the population."'
The actor, well known for her role in the 1992 film "Sister Act," said the product line has been a hit since its launch in April, including with women from outside California who have sampled it while visiting.
"Women who have used the products have lost their minds and said, 'Why can't we get it here?"' said Goldberg.
Her message to those women is that she's working on it but it's going to take some time given the legal complexities surrounding marijuana.
In Canada, for example, only a handful of licensed producers are permitted to sell medical marijuana to patients, although the federal government has said it plans to introduce legislation to legalize the drug for recreational use next spring.
Goldberg said she wants to get the ball rolling ahead of that.
"Your new guy is so smart -- young baby Trudeau," Goldberg said. "He's so smart at this. I just want to make sure that we're talking to people so that we can bring our product."
But it's too soon to say when or even if the products may be available in Canada.
"We're just getting our toenails wet."